AI Insights and Inspiration: My Story of Becoming a LinkedIn Top Voice with 30,000 Followers

Screenshot of Alexander Loth's LinkedIn profile, displaying the LinkedIn Top Voice badge, alongside the milestone achievement of 30,000 followers.
My LinkedIn profile, displaying the LinkedIn Top Voice badge, alongside the milestone achievement of 30,000 followers. Thank you very much!

I’m overjoyed to share an exciting milestone in my journey as a digital strategist and data scientist: my LinkedIn account has now reached a milestone of 30,000 followers! This achievement is more than just a number – it symbolizes a thriving community of enthusiasts passionate about data, AI, and digital transformation. The icing on the cake? Being recognized as a LinkedIn Top Voice in AI, an accolade that underscores my commitment to this fascinating field.

The surge in followers came on the heels of my inspiring ACM talk on Generative AI—a topic that captivates and challenges the norms of technology and creativity. This talk was more than a presentation of the work of our Microsoft AI For Good Lab; it was an invitation to explore the endless possibilities that AI brings to our world.

I cannot express enough gratitude for the overwhelming response to my book 📘 Decisively Digital  (➡️ Amazon). Each page was crafted with the intent to guide, enlighten, and inspire. Your support and feedback have been pivotal in its success.

What makes this journey truly remarkable is you – my followers, peers, and fellow enthusiasts. Our shared passion for data, AI, and digital technology has created a unique and vibrant community. Engaging with you, sharing insights, and learning from your perspectives has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career.

One of the most exciting initiatives has been the #datamustread book club. Witnessing your engagement, the dynamic discussions, and how we are collectively uncovering the potential of data and analytics to shape our world is nothing short of inspiring.

As LinkedIn’s Top Voice in AI, I look forward to continuing our journey of discovery and discussion. Your thoughts, ideas and contributions are the lifeblood of this community. Let’s keep the momentum going and dive deeper into the realms of AI and digital innovation.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for your unwavering support and enthusiasm. Together, let’s take the road to the next 30,000 followers and beyond, making every step a leap toward a more informed, innovative, and inspired digital world.

Celebrating a Milestone: Surpassing 25,000 LinkedIn Followers 🌟

My LinkedIn profile when reaching 25,000 followers. Thank you very much!
My LinkedIn profile when reaching 25,000 followers. Thank you very much!

⭐ Last month marked a significant milestone in my digital journey – I surpassed the remarkable number of 25,000 LinkedIn followers. This achievement is not just a number; it’s a validation of the vibrant, engaged community we’ve built together. ⭐

I am deeply grateful to each one of you – my LinkedIn followers – for making this possible. Your constant engagement and support have been the cornerstone of this journey. It’s your encouragement that drives me to share insights, analytics tutorials, and recommend must-read data books.

I’m thrilled that my content continues to help and inspire the broader 📊 data community on LinkedIn and on Twitter (➡️ @xlth). Feedback from data enthusiasts around the world motivates me to publish 📈 analytics tutorials and introduce 📖 #datamustread books.

A special note of thanks for your overwhelming response to my book, 📘 Decisively Digital  (➡️ Amazon). This 400-page endeavor, a blend of thought leadership and practical insights, was fueled by the motivation and support from my LinkedIn network. Thank you!

Let’s celebrate this milestone – with a LinkedIn post, of course! I invite you to join me in further conversations, to share knowledge, and to continue growing together:

Update: I’ve now surpassed 30,000 followers on LinkedIn and achieved the LinkedIn Top Voices badge! Check out my latest post to see how we got here and what’s next!

How to Research LinkedIn Profiles in Tableau with Python and Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau

Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau: using Python to access the Web Services API provided by Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services
Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau: using Python to access the Web Services API provided by Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services

A few weeks after the fantastic Tableau Conference in New Orleans, I received an email from a data scientist who attended my TC18 social media session, and who is using Azure+Tableau. She had quite an interesting question:

How can a Tableau dashboard that displays contacts (name & company) automatically look up LinkedIn profile URLs?

Of course, researching LinkedIn profiles for a huge list of people is a very repetitive task. So let’s find a solution to improve this workflow…

Step by Step: Integrating Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau

1. Python and TabPy

We use Python to build API requests, communicate with Azure Cognitive Services and to verify the returned search results. In order to use Python within Tableau, we need to setup TabPy. If you haven’t done this yet: checkout my TabPy tutorial.

2. Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services

One of many APIs provided by Azure Cognitive Services is the Web Search API. We use this API to search for name + company + „linkedin“. The first three results are then validated by our Python script. One of the results should contain the corresponding LinkedIn profile.

3. Calculated Field in Tableau

Let’s wrap our Python script together and create a Calculated Field in Tableau:

import http.client, urllib, base64, json
YOUR_API_KEY = 'xxx'
name = _arg1[0]
company = _arg2[0]
headers = {'Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key': YOUR_API_KEY }
params = urllib.urlencode({'q': name + ' ' + company + ' linkedin','count': '3'})
connection = http.client.HTTPSConnection('')
connection.request('GET', '/bing/v7.0/search?%s' % params, '{body}', headers)
json_response = json.loads(connection.getresponse().read().decode('utf-8'))
for result in json_response['webPages']['value']:
if name.lower() in result['name'].lower():
if '' in result['displayUrl']:
return result['displayUrl']
except Exception as e:
return ''
return ''
", ATTR([Name]), ATTR([Company]))

4. Tableau dashboard with URL action

Adding a URL action with our new Calculated Field will do the trick. Now you can click on the LinkedIn icon and a new browser tab (or the LinkedIn app if installed) opens.

LinkedIn demo on Tableau Public

Is this useful for you? Feel free to download the Tableau workbook – don’t forget to add your API key!

Get More Insights

This tutorial is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to dive deeper into the world of data visualization and analytics, don’t forget to order your copy of my new book, Visual Analytics with Tableau (Amazon).  This comprehensive guide offers an in-depth exploration of data visualization techniques and best practices.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment, share this tweet, and follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more tips, tricks, and tutorials on Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau and other data analytics topics.

Also, feel free to comment and share my Azure Cognitive Services in Tableau tweet: